Democrats criticize Trump over university scandal during his visit to Aston

from the Delaware County Daily Times

by Lucas Rodgers

September 14, 2016

ASTON >> While Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was set to speak to local and state GOP officials about his child care policy in a private meeting Tuesday night at the Aston Community Center, his supporters rallied outside the building. However, not everyone who gathered along both sides of Concord Road outside the community center was there to support the billionaire businessman. 

Josh Shapiro, Montgomery County Commissioners’ chairman and Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general, held a news conference across the street from the community center to criticize Trump. Shapiro said the “twisted rules” and “scams” of Trump University and the Trump Foundation show he is unfit to be president. 

“I’m running to be the people’s attorney general, and stand up to guys at the top of the rip-off economy like Donald Trump, no matter how big or powerful,” said Shapiro, who is running against state Sen. John Rafferty, R-44, of Collegeville, for attorney general in November. “Donald Trump has a history of taking advantage of people, pushing phony scams, and violating the rules just to boost himself. He bilked people – including Pennsylvanians – out of their money with his predatory Trump University and then, disturbingly, appears he may have tried to use his faux charity’s money to try to retaliate against an attorney general who held him accountable for cheating people out of millions.

“Each revelation about Trump shows how he’s twisted the rules to help himself at others’ expense. A man who abuses the system to his advantage in such a brazen manner, and repeatedly lies about it, cannot be trusted with the power of the presidency. Pennsylvanians have had enough of the powerful and well connected playing by a different set of rules and hurting us - together we can stop one of them on Nov. 8, and as your attorney general I’ll keep up the fight.”

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Shapiro said he believes in raising everybody up, and that’s why he supports Hillary Clinton for president. He said Clinton’s economic plan is about helping the interests of all Americans.

Beth Alois, first vice chairwoman of the Delaware County Democratic Party, said Trump uses other people’s money to benefit himself, and he’s not fit to be president.

Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman David Landau said Trump’s newly unveiled child care plan is too little too late, and it’s not thought out well. He said it’s just another example of Trump’s sexist view of the world, and he’s only talking about the plan to try to improve his favorability ratings with women. Landau said Trump is in deep trouble in Delaware County, and Clinton will win the county and help sweep in other down-ballot Democratic candidates.

Shapiro said things are not looking any better for Trump in Montgomery County. “Suburban Philadelphia is not buying what Trump is selling,” he said. “They look at Trump, and they don’t like what they see.”

After the news conference, Trump’s supporters and detractors continued to hang around outside the community center while Trump delivered a speech inside. The public was not granted access inside the community center.

John and Margie Dyckman, who have lived in Aston for more than 50 years, said they are registered Republicans, and they’re supporting Trump for president. John Dyckman said the No. 1 thing he likes about Trump is that he’s a businessman, not a politician, so he’ll put a stop on the federal government’s borrowing and spending, and work toward paying off the national debt.

Carmen Vasaturo, a 28-year-old from South Philadelphia, said he supports Trump’s plan to build a wall along America’s southern border, and he supports what the wall represents. He said it’s a gift to be born in America, and legal immigration is OK, but illegal immigration is wrong, and it’s hurting the economy. 

Vasaturo said this is the first year he’s ever voted because when he was younger he didn’t think his vote would matter, but now he follows politics more closely. He said he voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary, and he still respects Cruz, but among the current candidates, Trump is the most trustworthy and closest to his morals. Vasaturo said he believes Trump really loves America and sees potential for the country, but Clinton does not love America as it is now, and instead she wants to turn the country into something she’ll love. 

Laura Wentz, 4th District leader of the Upper Darby Democratic Committee, said she came to the event to protest against Trump. She said Trump represents the destruction of everything she stands for, such as women’s rights, a $15-per-hour minimum wage, workers’ rights, pay equity, paid family leave, and high quality child care in every zip code. She held a sign describing Trump’s child care plan as a “9th-inning empty political promise.”

Wentz said Trump represents prehistoric policies that would only benefit the 1 percent and corporations, and create a feudal system in America. She said she supports Clinton, and sees a beautiful future for America with her, but there is no future with Trump, or at least not a pleasant one.

David Scholnick, 41, of Philadelphia, said that as the father of an 18-month-old baby, he supports paid family leave for all parents. He said Trump may talk about child care, but he could do one better and follow Clinton’s lead with her plan for paid family and medical leave. Scholnick said he wishes Trump would support something that benefits everyone.

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